With the injury to Jan Vertonghen, it’s not unexpected that Tottenham are suddenly starting to get linked with moves for defensive cover. That continues today, with the Express reporting that Spurs are... uh, expressing interest in FC Köln left back and German international Jonas Hector.
Normally we don’t even bother with Express rumors, but this isn’t the English paper, it’s Express.de, a local Cologne newspaper that, while not always enjoying the greatest of reputations, was the first to report on Tottenham agreeing personal terms with Kevin Wimmer last March. They’re pretty clued in on Bundesliga transfers, and especially FC Köln, which lends a little gravitas to this report.
Hector is 26, a little older than the players we’ve seen Tottenham target in recent windows. He’s also a left back, which at first glance isn’t exactly a position of need for Tottenham as they head into the new season. But! Hector’s secondary position is defensive midfielder – he played nine matches there for Köln last season – which could move him from a player in competition with Danny Rose and Ben Davies, to a utility player and a rotation option for Mauricio Pochettino.
Hector’s also played every minute of the European Championships with Germany thus far and has some very nice games for Jogi Löw. He also scored the winning penalty against Italy in the quarterfinals. It’s put him on the radar of not only Spurs but also Liverpool and Wolfsburg. Express suggests he’s available for €20m (£17m), and it’s expected that he’ll leave Köln this summer.
There isn’t anything concrete in this report – just that Spurs have “expressed interest.” Obviously adding a third player whose primary position is LB could unsettle the existing power structure at the club. However, we already know how Mauricio Pochettino likes to utilize players who have experience in multiple positions.
Hector’s a decent left back and could compete with Danny Rose and Ben Davies for minutes. However, that might not even be bad news for Ben Davies, since Davies also has the ability to deputize at CB, as he’s shown to great effect with Wales while playing as part of a back three. Who knows: maybe this is an attempt by Pochettino to create a stable of positionally-fluid defenders that can slide in and out of various positions based on rotation or injury needs.
I’m not at all saying this is going to happen. This report could be bogus, or it could be completely accurate and still have absolutely nothing happen. However, I don’t think it’s necessarily a crazy rumor, and I’m not willing to dismiss it out of hand. Yet.